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Concerning our State before God

It is just like someone who is sick, and who believes the doctor who promises his full recovery. In the meantime, he obeys the doctor’s orders in the hope of the promised recovery, and abstains from those things which he was told to lay off, so that he may in no way hinder the promised return to health…Now is this sick man well? He is sick in reality – but he is well on account of a sure promise of the doctor, whom he trusts, and who reckons him as already being cured…So he is at one and the same time time both a sinner and righteous. He is a sinner in reality, but righteous by the sure imputation and promise of God that he will continue to deliver him from sin until he has completely cured him. So he is entirely healthy in hope, but a sinner in reality.

Martin Luther, commenting on Romans

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